Last night, Michelle Sterling of ESMB had an announcement to make.
She said everyone needed to know this about me:
Michelle Sterling has known me since early 2007 when I began posting to her Ex-Scientologist Message Board (ESMB). We talked quite a bit, back-channel, on the phone, and online. We were great friends between that time and 2011.
Kevin Mackey, ESMB’s 2nd in command at that time, told me that the ESMB rule that I violated at the time of my first banning – the violation which got me banned – was telling Dave Gibbons, “PandaTermint”, to “Fuck Off”.
There was quite a build-up to that event, of course. I had begun to see a pattern of vicious cruelty and hypocrisy in that group. There was a lot of back-channel scheming against other critics and Exes that you had to swear secrecy to. I watched Michelle ban and discredit a string of over a dozen ex-scientologists, Indies, and critics in the most heartless and cruel way during those 4 years. And then she would continue to do her best to use her message board to discredit them after she had banned them.
In the end, I realized at the time that ESMB was probably the worst place for an Ex-Scientologist to come to after being in the Church.
The Events Just Prior to Getting Myself Banned From ESMB
For those 4 years prior, before this pattern of hers had become apparent to me, I admired Michelle’s judgment and intelligence, and her insight on all kinds of issues.
After her house was raided by the Melbourne police department in 2010, and her computers were confiscated, and she was under threat of criminal charges for being a member of Anonymous – and the custody of her child was threatened – I did what I could to remain an ally for her. But no matter what I did, Michelle and I began to drift apart.
Michelle experienced the worst Scientology Fair Game I’ve ever seen anyone experience, and her demeanor and decision-making changed drastically after that. That experience militarized her. Her cruelty and her scheming dead-agent campaigns on other Exes and critics increased dramatically after she was fair gamed.
Michelle and I still communicated for a few months after I was banned. She told me something that her husband Ian had said about me.
Here’s what Michelle told me at that time.
This was something I’d never consciously considered about myself. But when she said it, I realized it was probably true. I’ve since thought about it a lot. I even wrote this blog post about what she said to me, 6 years later.
So when she made her announcement about me to all 1956 members of SPs-R-Us last night, I figured I’d better read it.
I’ve thought about what she said – the difference between “my truth” and “my audience”.
It may take me another 6 years to figure this one out.
Or not. I can’t tell yet.
Post Script: Michelle has continued to make announcements about what people should think about me on SPs-r-Us. This morning I saw this comment from her.
So maybe you can see why it is that Michelle and I are no longer friends. And with these kinds of cruel Scientology-style dead agenting campaigns that she has waged against dozens of other Ex-Scientologists and critics over the years, you can see why I don’t believe she is a healthy person for anyone to be around after Scientology. She doesn’t discuss, or even criticize, ideas. She assassinates characters. Because of this, I believe that she is especially unhealthy for someone who is emerging from the Church of Scientology and seeking solace and help after their experiences there.
I believe that ESMB – under Michelle Sterling’s influence – is just about the last place anyone should go after Scientology.
So yeah. I got myself banned from ESMB.
Now maybe you can see why.